The Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) is partnering with Champlain College and the Center for Service and Civic Engagement to bring the community three documentary films discussing poverty, hunger, and homeless.
COTS was formed in 1982 to address the needs of a growing homeless population in Burlington. Their mission is to provide emergency shelter, services, and housing for people who are homeless or marginally housed in Vermont.
COTS also works with Champlain College during the yearly tent city event where students sleep outside in tents to promote homelessness awareness. During this year’s convocation Champlain College awarded COTS director Rita Markley the distinguished citizen award for her work with the organization.
There will be three films shown at during the September Screening Series, which is held in Champlain College’s Alumni Auditorium, “Inocente” on Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. “Poor Kids,” Frontline on Sept. 17 at 6:30 pm, and “A Place at the Table” on Sept. 24 at 6 pm. Admission and concessions are both by donation.
“Inocente” – A personal and vibrant coming of age story about a young artist’s determination never to surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings. At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by being an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years.Color is her personal revolution and its sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past. “Inocente” is a timeless story about the transformative power of art and a timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America: children.
“Poor Kids, “ Frontline – For “Poor Kids,” FRONTLINE spent months following six children who are growing up against the backdrop of their families’ struggles against financial ruin. Filmmaker Jezza Neuman explored the lives of children living in the suburbs of the nation’s heartland. They asked the children what being poor in America really looks like through their eyes.The result is an intimate portrait of the economic crisis as it’s rarely seen, through the eyes of children. At a time when one in five American kids lives below the poverty line, “Poor Kids” is an unflinching and revealing exploration of what poverty means to children, and to the country’s future.
“A Place at the Table” – 50 million people in the United States — one in four children — don’t know where their next meal is coming from, despite our having the means to provide nutritious, affordable food for all Americans.Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine this issue through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford. Their stories are interwoven with insights from experts.